Type O Negative - October Rust
Roadrunner Records
Gothic Metal
15 songs (72:52)
Release year: 1996
Type O Negative, Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by Tyler

Since the moment I first heard it used it its modern connotation, the term “gothic” has been an infernal stigma of weirdness for anything that is associated with it, whether it be clothing, music, or people. In my mild ignorance, the word had a complete absence of significance beyond the scope of in which I interpreted to be confined to weird kids with too much make-up, ridiculous clothes, weird music, and any number of other stereotypes placed on the niche students such as myself know as “the Goth kids”. As such, after seeing Type O Negative get labeled as “gothic metal” by numerous websites that I stumbled upon in the aftermath of frontman Peter Steele’s untimely death back in April, I took the time to listen to about half of a song before tossing the band to the back of my “bands to listen to” list. However, it seems fate didn’t want to let me off the hook so easily; less than a week after Steele’s death, I uncovered October Rust in a booklet of CDs that I had inherited from my aunt. I quickly uploaded unto my computer, but took my time actually giving it a listen. After about a month of being bombarded with eulogies from Mr. Steele in magazines and on websites, I finally dared to bring October Rust on a night time car ride. Given my skepticism, you can imagine my surprise when, during the end of the album’s third song, Green Man, I found myself utterly hypnotized by the unreal, droning atmosphere of overdriven bass, shouts, crooning, keyboards, and any number of other unworldly noises swimming around in my head. The music was oddly bombastic and foreign in a way I wasn’t particularly accustomed to, but unbelievably, I was enjoying it.

After that car ride, I found myself digging my way through October Rust’s unfathomable sonic depths, especially after I decided that I would try doing a review for it. I still find myself writing this review with some apprehension, for I still feel as though I haven’t absorbed enough of this deceptively complex album to give it a sufficient review; and that is after about five full, focused listen-throughs. Luckily, my time with October Rust has certainly made me a fan of Type O Negative, peaking my curiosity enough to begin my slow descent through the band’s strangest of discographies. For all of you Type O fans, rest assured, I have liked what I have heard thus far.

At the time of its release, October Rust had the tall task of living up to its predecessor, Bloody Kisses, arguably one of the 90’s most critically acclaimed and commercially beloved metal albums. The band delivered impressively, with an album that, like much of the band’s discography, is considered a classic of the genre. Its easy to see why, as the album provides plenty for any open-minded listener to dig into. For me personally, the gorgeous layers of keyboards and guitars, the overdriven bass, Peter Steele’s Danzig-Dracula hybrid voice, and the bits of blatant tongue-in-cheek create something irresistible. For anyone with a keyboard-fetish (I’m in the thick of such a phase at this very moment), Josh Silver’s performance of this album is sure to please. The haunting intro to Love You To Death, the absolutely mesmerizing synths in Red Water (Christmas Mourning), and the quirky intro to the blatantly risqué My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend are all infectious bits of the keyboard wankery typical of gothic music. As a bass player, I can’t help but to get a little giddy when I hear Peter Steele’s obnoxiously distorted bass right at the front of the mix, something that seems to be a key element to the incredible atmospheres Type O Negative is so excellent at creating.

The “joke” tracks Bad Ground and The Glorious Liberation of the People's Technocratic Republic of Vinnland by the Combined Forces of the United Territories of Europa notwithstanding, the songs of October Rust rarely miss. That being said, it is important to take the entire album with a grain of a salt (as they say), since Type O Negative is a band notorious for being simulanteously somber and rediculously silly. I had quite a few giggles during Be My Druidess, when Peter Steele says, in his completely serious, faux-horror movie voice, “I would do anything to make you come”. I’ll leave the manner in which he intended that line to be interpreted up to you, but its hard to not be a little confused when seemingly-serious songs like Green Man and Red Water (Christmas Mourning) are followed by eccentrically raunchy tunes like My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend and Cinnamon Girl (a Neil Young cover, of all things). That being said, listeners able to accept the tongue-in-cheek nature of the lyrics for what they are will have no problem enjoying this album in its entirety.

October Rust has eternally altered my perception of what the term “gothic” means and how it applies to music, and there is certainly something to be said about that. This single album has allowed me to enjoy some bands that I previously “didn’t get” exponentially more. The sound of bands from Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borigr to Rammstein and Deftones seem to just agree more with my music sensibilities nowadays. I feel it is only appropriate that I award this album with the “classic” tag, as it is the album that has gotten me into Type O Negative once and for all, not to mention that this site has yet to award this band with the distinction, which I’m sure most would agree that it deserves. October Rust is darkly breathtaking, surprisingly complex, occasionally hilarious, and consistently entertaining for anyone willing to give it its due chance. It has stood the test of time, and will continue to proves its worth as fans revisit the Type O Negative’s discography in memory of the fallen hero, Pete Steele.

Killing Songs :
Pretty much all of em.
Tyler quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Type O Negative that we have reviewed:
Type O Negative - Dead Again reviewed by Jeff and quoted 95 / 100
Type O Negative - Bloody Kisses reviewed by Jay and quoted 99 / 100
Type O Negative - Life Is Killing Me reviewed by Jeff and quoted 90 / 100
Type O Negative - The Least Worst Of reviewed by Marc and quoted no quote
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